I Don’t Need An Emergency Chute!

I believe God has called me to be an overcomer in life — always a victor and never a victim in whatever circumstance I may be confronted with.

Bible

Romans 8:37    Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

In August of 2010 Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater had finally had enough.

When a passenger verbally abused him, Slater snapped. He got on the PA system and cursed all the passengers out. Then he grabbed a couple of cans of beer from the galley, pulled the lever to release the emergency chute, jumped on it and slide to the ground (fortunately the plane had already landed!), ran to his car, and drove home.

Steven Slater immediately became a folk-hero, with web pages honoring his exploit, offers of media appearances, and People Magazine listing suggestions about who should play him in the movie about his graphic refusal to take any more abuse.

But from a Christian perspective, is Steven Slater really a hero? Or is he a chump?

Probably all of us at one time or another have felt like that overtaxed flight attendant did that day. I certainly have! There have been many times when I felt like throwing up my hands and shouting, “This is too much – I can’t take it anymore!”

But, is it ever OK for Christians to give in to their emotions the way Slater did? I’m not really thinking so much about the cursing and the beer, but about just letting go and venting your frustrations.

One thing that helped me to answer that question for myself was imagining this man being interviewed on the news about the way he handled that pressure situation on the plane.

“Well, I’m a Christian,” I imagine him saying, “and before I did anything, I prayed about it, and what I did was what I believed would most honor God.”

That doesn’t track very well, does it? I think most of us already know that what he did is not God’s way. It’s never God’s way for us to get so upset and overwhelmed by the circumstances we face in life that we just totally lose it.

Proverbs 24:10    If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

I believe God is looking for people who won’t faint in the day of adversity, who won’t give up and throw in the towel and run away because they’ve reached the I can’t take it any more point with the challenges they are facing.

Here’s the kind of Christian I think God is looking for:

2 Timothy 2:3    You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

God is looking for soldiers! God is looking for battle-hardened warriors who are willing to stand up and keep fighting the good fight until they win!

1 Samuel 17:48    So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

That’s the attitude mature Christians have about the challenges they face in life. Instead of jumping down the emergency chute and running away from their situation, they have the weapons of their warfare ready, and they run forward to defeat the enemy in the name of the Lord!

To me, that’s the attitude of an overcomer, of one who is a victor and not a victim in the circumstances that confront them in life.

Ron Franklin

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About RonElFran

Ron Franklin is a graduate of Denver Seminary in Colorado, and is the now retired founding pastor of a church in Harrisburg, PA. A former engineer and manager for high-tech companies such as IBM, Ron has written extensively on matters relating to the Christian faith, modern technology, the Civil War, and African American history. You can see a selection of his articles at http://hubpages.com/@ronelfran .
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